State takes action against unlicensed builders

December 1, 2007 8:50:16 AM PST
Eyewitness News investigated unlicensed builders, Michael Luchansky and Jimmy Yellock. These two unlicensed builders took thousands of dollars from homeowners who say they thought the builders were licensed. The truth, they weren't licensed and after our cameras caught the unlicensed contractors willing to break the law. Now the state is taking notice.

The North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors filed a complaint with the courts against Yellock. Cathleen Plaut an attorney who represents the board tells Troubleshooter Diane Wilson, "With Mr. Yellock we hope it will prevent him from doing any job of $30,000 or more unless he is licensed because now he would be under the threat of going to jail."

This complaint stems from a case filed by Darlene Burton. She hired Yellock of Universal Trades Construction to build an addition to her home. She says, "I paid this man $48,650 and he abandoned my project. Every thing he did was wrong, everything he did except the wall in the bathroom has to be redone."

Yellock is not licensed to do any work over $30,000 dollars. Any contractor who does work over $30,000 must be licensed. Cathleen Plaut says our investigation helped expose a major problem with unlicensed contractors. She adds, "It has really helped the more the new gets out the more people become aware of the problems and become a lot more sophisticated in purchasing these services."

Besides the board for general contracting, the State Board for Electrical Contractors also took notice as they cited Yellock along with the electrician he got to do Darlene's job. The board found that the electrician, Don Bernard Williams didn't get the required permits and inspections, abandoned the project, engaged in unethical conduct, deceit, and malpractice in the use of his license.

Darlene's glad they're both being held accountable, but she'll never forgive them especially Jimmy Yellock. She says, "He's stolen my dream and 48 thousand is not easy to come by." Especially since she had to pay a licensed contractor to finish what Yellock didn't finish. Yellock is facing another charge. He's scheduled to go to court at the end of the month for a forgery charge that also relates to Darlene Burton's case. Yellock says he's not guilty.

Michael Luchansky is the other unlicensed contractor we caught willing to break the law. After our story, the board filed a motion with the courts to find Luchansky in contempt. Luchansky continued to take on jobs over $30,000 without being licensed even though the courts order him not to. If found guilty of contempt, Luchansky could face a fine and up to 30 days behind bars.

Remember, if you're hiring a contractor to do more than $30,000 worth of work, they must be licensed to do the job. Make sure you check that they're actually licensed just don't take their word.


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